8 Mar 2013

Berlusconi convicted

6:05 am on 8 March 2013

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy was convicted on Thursday and sentenced to a year in prison in one of a number of court cases against him.

He was accused of arranging for a police wiretap concerning a political rival to be leaked and published in a newspaper run by his brother.

The BBC reports Berlusconi is likely to appeal and will remain free in the meantime.

He is presently appealing against a tax-fraud conviction and also faces a verdict in a sex trial later in March.

The tax fraud conviction stems from a trial last October that saw him sentenced to a year in prison.

The sex trial concerns accusations that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute.

A BBC correspondent said there is no real prospect of Berlusconi going to prison over the wiretap case, but the conviction is another serious blow to his reputation.

Late on Wednesday, Italy's highest appeals court upheld a ruling clearing Berlusconi of tax fraud in connection with his Mediatrade broadcasting rights firm.